Do your core business systems consume the lion's share of your annual ICT budget? If you answered in the affirmative, join the club. According to one recent estimate, large, legacy solutions account for a median 40 per cent of total ICT spend for corporate entities.
But the big question is, is it money well spent? And if not, how could those funds be better directed?
For a growing number of Australian ICT leaders, the answer to the first question is ‘not necessarily'. They recognise that it's time to renovate and reboot if they're to encourage innovation from within the ranks, enjoy productivity gains and save money.
It's a smart stance to adopt, at least in the eyes of Khalid Kark, head of Deloitte's CIO program in the US. He recently noted that old technology could impede innovation and growth.
“Many CIOs recognise that legacy core systems lack the agility needed to develop and scale innovative and disruptive new technology solutions,” Kark writes.
Charting a new course
Those open to doing things differently may wish to consider a range of potential approaches.
“Organisations saddled with legacy systems can rehost, replatform, rearchitect, rebuild or replace them – strategies that vary in impact, cost, risk, and value,” Kark observes.
At Nintex, we see forward-thinking local enterprises opting for what might best be termed a ‘composable' or modular core, replacing on-premises, ‘bigger than Ben Hur' platforms and solutions with pared-back alternatives augmented by compatible, easy to install plug-ins.
It's a model that's highly compatible with hybrid and remote working arrangements. It makes it easy for new features and functionality to be added economically and fast, without the risk of disruption to operations.
Small businesses already understand the benefits of taking this tack, having long been able to avail themselves of vast eco-systems of niche apps centred around core financial solutions, most notably the cloud-based accounting software platform Xero.
In 2022, it's time for medium and large enterprises to join them in adopting a flexible, modular approach.
Putting process improvement at the heart of your upgrade
A major upgrade represents a significant opportunity to overhaul not just the ICT platforms and solutions that power your operations but the processes that underpin them too.
Mapping and analysing workflows across the enterprise will help you identify opportunities to do things smarter, faster, and better by replacing laborious manual processes with automated digital alternatives.
After surviving two years of remote working, employees are likely to have plenty to contribute to this score about what works, what doesn't and where process redesign would have the most impact.
The end game is efficiency: boosting productivity and reducing human error. An added bonus is increased employee satisfaction, courtesy of the fact that releasing employees from the daily grind of repetitive, rote activities frees them up to perform higher-level duties that add value to the enterprise.
Tools to make the task easy
Historically, an enterprise-wide process review was a time consuming and expensive exercise, but advances in technology mean that's no longer the case. Digital process management technology makes it easy to document the status quo and analyse the potential impact of process redesign.
And by utilising low and no-code process automation tools, employees from across the enterprise can implement changes that were once the exclusive remit of highly trained professionals and consultants.
Building the foundation for a more agile future
Events of the past two years have prompted scores of organisations of all stripes and sizes to rethink their operations and processes and embrace opportunities to do things differently – saving time and resources as a result.
If that's a driver in 2022 and beyond, it may be time to join them in overhauling the core systems powering your business.